Great tits nesting

Hi when do the great tits start laying their eggs
  • Hi yosa

    I suppose they could have already started laying.

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  • In reply to Alan.:

    Hi Alan, thanks for the reply. I was just wondering because a pair of great tits are just building a nest over the last few days in our nest box. I was wondering if they were late or if they were right on schedule?

  • In reply to yosa:

    Hi yosa

    I think a lot of birds time their nesting and egg laying according to the weather conditions. In the wild the tit family, in particular, rely on caterpillars to feed their young. I suspect that because of the cold Spring we've had that nesting may be a little later this year.

    If you want to help your Great Tits when they are feeding their youngsters, live mealworms will be gratefully accepted. They are a bit expensive though.

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    Regards,Tony

    My Flickr Photostream 

  • In reply to TeeJay:

    Hi Tony,

    Thanks for that info. I had read about the timing of the nest building and egg laying so that makes sense. It’s the first time our box has been used for egg laying and we’re quite excited. It’s been used for the last two years as a roosting box through the winter months by firstly a blue tit then a great tit. This year it’s been a great tit and we are wondering if it’s the same male great tit that’s now using it as a nesting box? I will get some mealworms, anything that helps our birds is a good thing. Thank you for taking the time to reply

    Regards Yosa

  • In reply to yosa:

    Our Great Tit has not roosted in the box this winter but started building her nest about 10 days ago, slowly at first but she then spent two days going frantic finishing it.   She has roosted in the box for the last two nights and we're waiting for the eggs.   I'll let you know when that happpens.  

    I also supply mealworms - and waxworms - an expensive time of year!

  • In reply to Molly:

    Hi, so I’ve been keeping an eye on the great tits and they are still building their nest but can be a bit slow. Sunday night the female flew in to the box and didn’t come back out and I thought yes she’s finally in but then got up this morning and she’s still flying back and forth with nest material. Going to have to wait a bit longer! I’ve also got a feeling there was another male on the scene as I saw a bit of fighting Sunday day, hoping they can stick together and scare him off!

  • In reply to yosa:

    Not really sure what’s going on with the great tits. Last night the female flew in the box and some time later the male joined her. This morning for two hours the male was backwards and forwards to the box but didn’t seem to have any food for her. I’ve not seen the female all day so I’ve m assuming she’s still in the box. The male has now not been to the box since 8 o’clock this morning! Is the female still in there or does anyone think she might have taken flight? Really odd lol ....

  • In reply to yosa:

    Impossible to know, Yosa.   It's very difficult to guess at what stage your birds are at with their nest without the benefit of a camera!   Prior to laying eggs, males do this 'in/out' procedure when the male pops in and out again.  There must be a reason behind it but maybe it's just checking all is ok and to keep in touch!   Males can also be a little mean as regards feeding the females!

  • In reply to Molly:

    Hi Molly, thanks for the reply. It’s all a bit strange at the moment as the female great tit is still not sat on the nest. She’s busy flying backwards and forwards sometimes with nesting material sometimes nothing. They are both busy in the mornings then disappear till dinner where they sometimes have a couple of visits then disappear till teatime. Have a few in and outs then go off again till it gets to dusk. She then goes in the box for the evening and the male sometimes joins her but not every night. I’ve never had a nest this close up before (its over my front room window) If my window is opened slightly I’m sure I can hear a high pitch tweet, is she in there? Does she leave the nest to feed sometimes if he’s not been very good with the food? I’m sure at some point I’ll realise what’s happening lol

  • In reply to yosa:

    I’ve just been reading about partial incubation and think that’s what might be going on. The female has been sat for longer periods of time today in the nest box before coming out. Maybe she hasn’t laid all her clutch yet? She was in the box again last night, came out early doors (I was up and saw her go) He was doing his usual alarm call, which the neighbors might not enjoy as it’s very loud lol. I might have got this all totally wrong lol..